Aimee Horton

When you pretend you can’t smell anything.


One thing they never tell you when you are pregnant, one thing that is witheld (whilst animated in depth tales of piles, late nights, stretch marks are forced upon you), is the part where you play the avoidance game with your partner.

You probably all know what I’m talking about, but don’t want to comment yet, in case you have the wrong end of the stick.  I’ll go into more detail, white lies, usually focused around pooh or sleep.  You’re all with me now aren’t you?  Please tell me it’s not just me.

You become aware of the lies quite soon into the new born stage.  I would say it happened about day five of The Beast’s life.  I’d spent a hard night jiggling, feeding, bouncing, rocking, cleaning sick out of bra, changing nappies, changing vests, changing sleepsuits, bouncing and feeding.  I’d had very little sleep.  At times, when it got to sticky to be just tipping the sick from my bra into the sink, I had been known to lie a screaming baby right next to Matthew whilst I changed. I may have  laid it right next to his face, and when he didn’t even appear to stir, I have climbed into bed accidentally kicking him.  Still he doesn’t APPEAR to wake up.

In the morning, he would leap out of bed “well, that wasn’t a bad night was it?”.  I think the mood following that was what is known as “stabby”.

We all know men are “supposed” to have this natural ability to sleep through a baby cry, but sometimes I just think they pretend not to hear.  However, they don’t suddenly lose their sense of smell…do they?

Nappies.  Pooh filled nappies.  Not my favourite part of being a parent, especially first thing in the morning.  When Fatty gets into a nappy routine, it’s like that for about a week, and right now his nappies are first thing in the morning, and around bath time.

So, when I stumble into his room at 6.45am to re-insert his dummy (no milk until 7am!), if I get a whiff, I may pretend it’s just stale air.  Why?  Because Matthew’s shift begins at 7am.  So I have sometimes just snuck back into my room and snuggled into bed without acting on my motherly instinct to put that wobbly little bottom in a clean nappy.

When the 7am shift change kicks in, Matthew gets the milk and heads to the nursery.  Now.  Here’s the thing.  Sometimes he will change the nappy, muttering, making “eurgh” noises, but sometimes…just sometimes…he  can come back into our room and disappear off into the shower (WITHOUT MY CUP OF TEA), leaving me with a complaining child and I end up doing the nappy.

Another example, would be perhaps I smell a whiff, just as I’m going to fake a necessary visit to the loo (with a quick game of DrawSomething to boot), but as I turn around, I see Matthew hurrying down the stairs with his arms full of laundry and rushing into the virtually sound proof utility room HE NEVER DOES LAUNDRY!!! Darn it.  I end up changing the nappy.  One of us suddenly has some pressing paper work/tidying/phone calls/nipping to the shop as soon as the sweet scent of dying animals makes it’s way across the room where the fat one is sitting read faced and grunting.

At night, as DH is about to come to bed the baby makes a noise, he’s just about to go to the loo, but I pretend not to have woken up, so he has to deal with him.  As a direct response to this, he feigns not hearing the noises over night, even though we both know he has because at one point he shakes me awake and tells me that the baby is crying.  In the morning I point this out, he denies all knowledge.  I’d believe him if he hadn’t also remembered me calling him a rude name.

Nappies and sleep, it’s become a competitive avoidance game, “it’s your turn”, no “it’s def’ you, I did the pooh 3 days ago” “I DID FIVE YESTERDAY”.  The daily battle is then interrupted by bargaining “if you wipe his bottom I’ll do the nappy”, “I’ve been at work all day!…YES, I know staying at home with the boys is work but…no, you’re right nobody has wiped snot on my shoulder…no, my phone conversation wasn’t interrupted by EXCUSE ME MUMMAY I NEED FIVE MORE CREAM BISCUITS OR I’LL DIE…oh ok” or my personal favourite “I’ll let you pick, you can either tidy the pots up from dinner, or go up to the child shouting on the landing”.

I’m assuming this stops as soon as they can wipe their own bottoms?  Or do I need to reserve a few for when it’s time to bargain out the “sex” talk, as I’m RUBBISH at “Rock, Paper, Scissors”.


When they are so very different.


FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY, at the age of approximately seventeen months Fatso has started walking.

To me this seems horrendously late.  After all, the horrible one was practically there on his first birthday, and went hell for leather straight into running not long after that.  Even then that seemed pretty late to me, but how was I to know?

From the minute I got pregnant I knew my two children would be different.  I mean, we all know “no baby is the same”.  But, well, you kinda think they will be in some ways don’t you?  However, as I’m a little emotional as my baby starts settling in to the next room at nursery, and my eldest baby starts school in September, I’ve begun to reflect on just how different they are.


I’m gutted to say, I didn’t suit pregnancy.  As much as I wanted it, neither of them caused me to glow particularly.  Other than that sweat you get due to constant vomiting and nausea.

With The Beast, I had complications.  Obviously.  Firstly they thought he was eptopic, then I bled, and then he was teenytiny, so I had to go through the whole steroid injections and “HE COULD BE OUT ANY MOMENT PACK YOUR BAGS NOW” malarkey from probably about 27/28 weeks.  Just to add to that, after they signed me off work, he grew, and was breech, but as I had no fluid he was a c-section.  I wasn’t sick particularly.  But always full. If I ate anything it was pineapple, onken lemon moussee, and coco pops, with the odd need for salty fish and chips.  I didn’t throw up once.  Everybody was surprised I was close to my due date. He came delicately and quietly into the world on Thursday 7th August 2008 weighing a perfectly respectable 6lb 7oz.

With Fatso I threw up constantly from day one until approx. 24 weeks. I was hormonal, emotional, and HUGE (nothing to do with adoring skittles and chocolate).  I used to pull my car over on the A1 on my daily drive to Doncaster to vomit on my way to work, and at 7 weeks strangers were coming up to me asking The Beast if he was excited about having a little brother or sister.  Everybody thought I was having twins.  Luckily they confirmed I wasn’t.  I was in constant pain due to internal bruising from the horrible one, and could barely walk.  I was signed off work early, and agreed on another elective due to the fact that he was massive, and I’m 5ft 1 with a teeny tiny pelvis.  I had contractions on and off for weeks prior to due date, and at the tills of Next one day the happy skinny bitch lady said “oooh not long for you now” and when I responded with “about 10 more weeks” she said “NOOOOO YOU’RE WAY TOO HUGE FOR THAT”.  Fatso was finally hauled into the world loudly, gargling on my popped waters on Monday 25th October 2010.  To the crys “WOW HE’S MASSIVE” at again, a perfectly respectable 8lb 4oz.


So there you are.  I have had two babies.  Both boys.  Completely opposite ends of the spectrum.

The Beast, small, delicate, fitting into premmie clothes and nappies, refluxy, full of colic, constantly vomiting and fully wanting to be on the go ALL THE TIME.  He was impatient, fed every hour, refused a dummy, refused a bottle (giving in after a 13 hour hunger strike), and didn’t sleep until he had meat.  I had to rock him to sleep until he was 3 months old.  I used to stand with a constant bounce, even if I wasn’t holding him I’d bounce, it was in my nature.  The child wasn’t content ANYWHERE but on me.  He screamed in his bouncy chair, SCREAMED in the car, SCREAMED if he was lying on his back, and SCREAMED if he was lying on his front.  He hated lying flat in his pram.  My expensive BEAUTIFUL Bugaboo was converted swiftly (against my better judgement) to the pushchair setting.  He was always in a hurry to grow up.  He’s always appeared grown up with a full head of hair, and skinny little boy body and face.

Tiny Baby

FATSO on the other hand, considering he was screaming when he was born (for food) was amazingly content.  Took bottle and breast, and THANK GOD a dummy.  He spent his days happily snuggled into his chair watching his brother, the TV, or just snoozing away.  He slept through from 8 weeks old and was the amazing laid back baby.  He didn’t hit the milestones in quite the same pace, but I was secretly pleased.  After all, I loved that he was calm, didn’t race to grow up, after all, he is my last (sob).

Chunky Monkey

The speed they grew was also amazingly  different.  Whilst The Beast lasted forever in clothes, Fatso grew at an alarming rate, barely fitting in stuff for more then one airing.  He was always one age range ahead of his sizing, whereas The Beast is always one behind.


Now Fatty can toddle. He’s referred to as a “toggler” by us all, mainly by The Beast.  They’ve changed again.

As soon as The Beast could crawl and walk he was very content.  Slept well, ate everything you put in front of him, and whilst he had his tantrums (and boy did he have HORRIFIC tantrums), I was able to sit on him.  He was like a little boy.

The Fat one on the other hand is becoming higher maintenance.  Frustrated that it’s hard to heave his massive head and pudgy thighs everywhere he gets grumpy, head-butts the wall/your legs/the sofa (why do they do this?! Never experienced this before), and hasn’t slept properly for months due to his ridiculous need for his dummy.  He’s is far less independent and clingy.  Whilst The Beast would get his drink off the shelf next to his bed, fatty sits and cries until you get it for him, or if he dares to get it, he stands up and inevitably falls over.  However, the fat one plays SO much better.  He actually sits and explores toys, he LOVEs to play, whereas The Beast never did.  He was too busy causing trouble.

The Fat one is “sensitive” The Beast is “tough”.  The Fat one HATES fruit.  The Beast is happy with it.  The list goes on.

So what’s the point of this post?  As always, not much.  I’m just reminiscing on how my babies have grown up so quickly, but also how different they are.  I listen to their voices, one high pitched and the other deep and husky, I look at how they stand and walk differently, how they socialise, and how they react to others.


I’m still in denial that I’ve created little people, and I’m excited to see them grow up and see what they become.  But I’m also a bit sad.  Darn you pregnant people.  Especially as you’re having girls. *sob*.

When you have a brief moment of insanity.


Yesterday I got thrown a curve ball.  I hadn’t had the best night, amazingly not because of the boys (I’ve discovered that having chocolate before bed gives me nightmares…she says as she stuffs a bar of galaxy into her mouth).

Anyway, after a restless night, and a slightly early rise from Fatso (6am, I mean COME ON).  I’d managed to go back to sleep after shutting Fatty in his room with a dvd lovingly encouraging Larry to go back after his cup (YES CUP) of milk, and so was woken by the doorbell at 7.30am. I may have sworn.  Used the F word.  But after a persistent ringing I stumbled out of bed and looked out of the window onto the street below. I thought I saw a police car and instantly thought “oooh gossip!”

I went downstairs and opened the front door to discover a paramedic car and an ambulance in front of my house, suddenly not excited any more.  My neighbour comes out and asks me to watch her boys while she goes with her baby to the hospital – she’d had a fit (the diagnosis btw was a febrile convulsion – the second child in our street in as many years to go to hospital because of this).  Obviously I say yes, go inside, put a couple of hair grips in my wild morning hair, and pull on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.  I don’t even have time to do my face before my doorbell goes again.  Two little boys who I’ve probably spent less than an hour with in total stand in front of me in my hall.

After shooing her off I plonk them into the sofa and go and collect my children.  So let’s clarify where I am with this ok?

7.40am 4 children in my “day room” (aka kitchen, dining, living area).

1. 16 months

2. 28 months

3. 3.5 years

4. 7 years.

I hadn’t even had a cup of tea. I send an SOS to my friend.

After producing breakfast for all children, making a cup of tea, reassuring the 7 year old his little sister won’t die, yes he can sweep the floor up after the children if he likes (HE ASKED OK?!), and looking at the 2 year old thinking that face was a face of a head shaker (pooh), and ushering the children upstairs to The Beasts room.  I realise that I have emptied and stacked the dishwasher, cleaned the counter and all was tidy.

Upstairs the kids played and gave me chance to wash and put on my make-up.  My hair was still uncontrollable – no chance for a shower.

My AMAZING friend turns up with her daughter to find the children all playing happily upstairs, and me in the middle of cleaning the bathroom after putting a load of washing through.

We send her daughter upstairs, retrieve the two youngest, stick on CBeebies, and drink tea.  I nip downstairs and quickly create a cottage pie.

While it’s cooking the 7 year old tells jokes to my friend (I think I need to work on my fake interested face, he could totally tell I didn’t care), we play a few games and I answer the multitude of questions fired at me from the tactless one (he’s not badly behaved at all, just 7).

  • Why isn’t your TV as big as ours?
  • Why doesn’t T have a DVD player in his room?
  • Why is your hair spikey?
  • We don’t have those biscuits at home
  • Why can’t we play with the PS3?
  • How does Matt get into your garage?
  • What’s that mark on the carpet?
  • Did you know there’s a cobweb up there?

During lunch I enjoy the pleasure of FIVE children eating my food. FIVE. No “I don’t like this”. All clean plates.

During the day, whilst I’ve dealt with a potty training toddler scared of the toilet, a climbing 7 year old, a fat baby crying because he can’t have his car, a 3 year old dressing up as Spiderman and another 3 year old pretending to be Ariel, I receive messages from Matthew asking how I’m getting on.  When I’m fairly positive and upbeat about it all, I receive similar to the following.

I dreamily wonder as the children entertain themselves (I’m totally ignoring the crashing and the banging, I’ve removed the “craft” box and placed it out behind a locked door, and I know that no matter how messy the room is, I can put it back, there’s no need to hyperventilate) if next time I’ll get a pink one.  I reckon we could do it, have more children, they could PLAY together.

Eventually my neighbour comes home and collects the boys.

I mention to Matthew that maybe we could have another.

He obviously has prepped The Beast, after an hour this morning of saying “Spiderman PLEASE get dressed for pre-school”, “Spiderman, put your pre-school clothes on” “THEO PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON” “THEODORE FOR THE LOVE OF GIN PUT YOUR BLOODY PRE-SCHOOL CLOTHES ON BEFORE I BEGIN TO COUNT”…I get the response “Oh mummy, all you had to do was ask you know”.

I’ve decided two is enough.